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Full text of "Laughing Torso"

PARISAND    BRITTANY

garden when I visited him and drank cocktails.
He had the most beautiful furniture and pots filled
with flowers and leaves carved in Chinese jade,
some of which had come from temples in China.
These Americans were very kind to me and bought
drawings and Jeff Dodge asked me to paint his
portrait. I started it quite well but I forget why I
never finished it. Perhaps it will be like the portrait
of the Old Master who painted a gentleman when
young and then, thirty years later, added grey hair
and some wrinkles, and I will finish it when I am
sixty!
A grand birthday party was given in an Ameri-
can's flat and I was asked for some unknown reason.
I arrived in my workman's trousers, dressed as an
apache. The butler looked rather alarmed, but the
guests liked it. I had three hundred francs in my
pocket. We had a magnificent dinner with cham-
pagne and brandy and danced, and about two a.m.
I left. I went to a cochers5 restaurant near the
Gare Montparnasse, which the inhabitants of the
D6me visited after two a.m., to eat soup a Voignon.
I thought that I might find someone that I knew.
The patron knew me and the inhabitants were
delighted. The clientele: chauffeurs, workpeople,
apaches and the ladies from the neighbouring
houses. The ladies wore bedroom slippers, no hats,
and shawls. I sat down with them and drank white
wine and ate snails. By this time the wine had gone
to my head and, as two policemen had come in. and
were drinking at the bar, the patron asked them if
they would be kind enough to see me home* as I only
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